Doug Dexter is Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, a Fellow in the American College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, and a former President of the Northern California Human Resources Association. Doug also served more than fifteen years as Chair of Farella's Employment Practice. These roles, coupled with 35 years of practicing California employment law, have informed Doug about the status and trends of that law, as well as the value of listening to client priorities, collaborating with a diverse team of legal professionals, and communicating positions toward resolution of employment-related disputes.

Doug specializes in advising and representing large employers, particularly in the technology industry. He helps these clients reach decisions of first impression that will support client goals over time and application to employee populations, consistent with the client’s workplace ethos and brand. These decisional contexts range from drafting policies to resolving individual employee circumstances.

In litigation, Doug communicates with clients, lawyers, and courts to reconcile facts, law, and party priorities toward resolution – whether through negotiation, summary judgment, or trial. A life-time early adopter, Doug strives to leverage technology for more efficient and material evidentiary analysis.

The subjects of Doug’s experience, advice, and litigation span the unique dictates of California employment law, including wage and hour, accommodation, discrimination, workplace privacy, collective action, competition, trade secrets, contingent workforces, and agreements to commence, compensate, and sever employment. Doug consistently litigates individual, class and PAGA actions. Raised in San Francisco, educated in San Diego, and initially officed in Los Angeles, Doug has spent his career resolving employment disputes in venues across California.

As a professional leader, Doug has benefited from mentoring and working with diverse talented teams of attorneys, both within and outside of Farella. Doug recognizes that supporting legal profession diversity, as well as independent thought among newer lawyers, enhances legal analysis and client service — and creates a more competent and admirable profession.


  • Best Lawyers in America for Litigation - Labor and Employment
  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star – West (2019)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2006-2019)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Vice-Chair, ABA, Labor and Employment Law Section (August 2019-Present)
  • Fellow, American College of Labor & Employment Lawyers (2015-present)
  • Budget Co-Chair, ABA, Labor and Employment Law Section (2017-2019)
  • Governing Council Member, ABA, Labor and Employment Law Section (2011-2017)
  • Co-Chair, ABA, Labor and Employment Law Section, Technology in the Practice and Workplace Committee (2005–2007) 
  • President, Northern California Human Resources Association (2005) 
  • Founding Sponsor, San Francisco High School Mock Trial Competition

Firm Highlights


What Employers Should Know About the California Consumer Privacy Act Taking Effect January 1, 2020

On January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a consumer-friendly privacy law inspired by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, is set to take effect. The CCPA is aimed towards bolstering...

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Coronavirus and Employee Privacy Laws: What Employers Should Know

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) presents challenging medical privacy issues for employers. Employers must observe their employees’ continued legal right to privacy—including under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HIPAA, and/or relevant...

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Coronavirus and the Workplace: Guidance for Employers Resuming Operations

As states and localities begin to relax shelter-in-place requirements and allow businesses to reopen, the coronavirus pandemic presents new challenges for employers. In addition to operational and logistical questions surrounding reopening, employers must navigate...

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Coronavirus and the Workplace: Key Legal Updates for Employers

With the spread of COVID-19 and the rapidly evolving federal, state, and local government response, it can be difficult for employers to keep up with their rights and obligations. This week, California’s Governor Gavin...

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New Laws for California Employers in 2020

The California Legislature and Governor Newsom have passed a sizable list of new laws governing the workplace in 2020. Employers are, once again, advised to evaluate their workplace rules and practices to insure they keep...

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California’s New Ban on Mandatory Employment Arbitration: How We Got Here and What This Means

All employers should be aware that their use of mandatory employment arbitration agreements is prohibited in California effective January 1, 2020 under recently signed Assembly Bill No. 51 (AB 51). Under current California law...

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7 Tips for Creating a COVID-19 Essential Business Travel Policy

As states are relaxing COVID-19-related restrictions, employers should remain cautious about business travel. California’s public health orders still limit travel to an “urgent matter” or that which is “essential to your permitted work.” Given...

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